Tomorrow November 3, has great significance for Dominica as it not only marks the thirty eighth anniversary of Dominica’s Independence, but Discovery Day.
On November 3, in 1493, the Italian sea Captain Christopher Columbus, leading a fleet of 17 Spanish ships, sighted Wai'tukubuli and renamed it Dominica. The day was originally observed as “Discovery Day” but was renamed in 1965 by Edward Le Blanc who envisioned the day as one of nationalistic celebration or “National Day.” 12 years later it was chosen for the day of full independence in 1978.
Dominica’s first Prime Minister was Patrick Roland John but political discontent led to the formation of an interim Government, led by Oliver Seraphin whose Government was replaced after the 1980 elections by a Government led by the Dominica Freedom Party (DFP) under Prime Minister Eugenia Charles, the Caribbean’s first female Prime Minister. In 1995 the DFP Government was defeated in elections by the United Workers Party (UWP) of Edison James. In the February 2000 elections the UWP was defeated by the Dominica Labour Party (DLP), led by Rosie Douglas.
Douglas formed a coalition with the DFP but died suddenly after only eight months in office, on October 1, 2000, and was succeeded by Pierre Charles who, on January 6, 2004, followed his predecessor's footsteps to die in office paving the way for Roosevelt Skerrit to assume the position as Prime Minister of Dominica for the last twelve years.
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